Why the Chungking Mansions are actually awesome

When I emailed my uncle the address for Delta Hotel, a small budget hotel in the Chungking Mansions, he immediately called me to express his concerns about the safety and cleanliness of the area. "You should cancel the booking and stay with us," he urged. "A Chinese girl was raped there before. It was all over … Continue reading Why the Chungking Mansions are actually awesome

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god of beginnings

My dad, who has been hosting on Airbnb for several months, asked me to make some paper cranes as gifts for honeymooning guests. Miraculously, I didn't feel weird about it, despite the strong connection between these cranes and my mother. I placed a pink crane (her favorite color) in front of her photo and burned some incense, and I … Continue reading god of beginnings

The Improbable American Dream: Independence Day reflections

"You were born with [an American passport]," my cousin said over WeChat yesterday, "So you will never understand those who desire it so much." I will point out that my cousin was born in Australia and now lives in Makati, the wealthy district in Manila, with two live-in maids. His father, my uncle, is a tenured professor … Continue reading The Improbable American Dream: Independence Day reflections